NV/ATI fight over PS3

kinney

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Pixel Shader 3.0 may turn out to be a decisive factor in the fight for graphics supremacy between nVidia's NV40 based boards and ATIs R420 chips. As most of you will know nVidia's GeForce 6800 Ultra already supports the new feature while ATI chose not to, dismissing it as not necessary for the time being.

This time however, ATI may have got their timing wrong. Pixel Shader model 3.0 it appears, is already supported by a game, one of the most impressive ones at that, as Far Cry is already keeping its end of the way its meant to be played deal.
It has been the case in the past that new features, such as PS 3.0, needed at least 6 months to a year until they were fully supported by software. This time however, much to ATIs dismay, it seems that PS 3.0 will be supported by most major titles.

Many experts do suggest that Far Cry support for PS 3.0 is not full and that it was added only as a taster and a boost to nVidia's cause. Despite the Far Cry case though it is becoming clear that forthcoming games will also offer support for PS 3.0 with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers,for example, already claiming to have included it.

It seems that this may prove a sticky issue for ATI as all they can do with their developer partners, for the time being, is ask them to not activate PS 3.0 in their games. Such a request, if made, by ATI would be asking a developer to make their game technologically inferior in order to avoid assisting its rival so it may cause some friction. It will be interesting to see how Valve will handle the issue with H-L 2, although the most likely approach will be to include PS 3.0 but to avoid stressing its use at every opportunity, something nVidia partners will most definitely do.

<A HREF="http://www.megagames.com/news/html/hardware/nvidiaatifightoverps30support.shtml" target="_new">Source</A>

Looks like ATI is going to have quite the battle over this one.
Like 3dfx telling us that we dont need 32bit color, Intel telling us we dont need 64bit processing..
but with one crucial difference.

Looks like there ARE going to be many PS3.0 games coming out.
I had a post on this with the info from Firingsquad <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=394387#394387" target="_new">here</A>.

It will be very interesting to see if Valve implements PS3.0 to HL2.. becuase if they dont it will look awefully funny with even RELEASED (Far Cry) games implementing it.

I have two full PS3.0 games already on my own hard drive (Painkiller and Farcry).

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cleeve

Illustrious
It's definitely the 6800's ace in the hole, but it all depends on what it brings to the table.

We don't even know yet... the far cry patch hasn't been released yet. I don't know enough about painkiller to comment on that one, I didn't know it uses PS3.

However, if the r420 is 25% faster than the 6800, and PS3 patching gives the 6800 a small increase in shader ops speed with identical IQ (which is what the far cry patch is indicated to do)... well, PS3 ain't going to be all that important.

If PS3 allows for advanced effects that PS2 can't support, then it's a different cup of tea. The 6800's strength will be undeniable.

It all really depends on how it's implemented and what it can do... and we're all in the dark about it at this point, unfortunately...

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TheRod

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Looks like ATI is going to have quite the battle over this one.
The good thing about no PS3.0 in X800, is that ATI will probably try push into the market R500 as fast as possible, or will offer X800 at lower price.

Personally, I'm not an extreme gamer, so I will probably not care much about PS3.0, because game studios wants to sell games, and to do so, they will support PS1.X and PS2.0 for at least 1-2 year. Because there is so much DX8.1/DX9.0 GPU out there. Not everyone will trash their Video Card because it don't support PS3.0.

Question :
Is there a game that REQUIRE PS2.0 to run?

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scottchen

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I agree with you, unless the R420 series offers a huge performance difference, then NV40 seems like a better card.

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cleeve

Illustrious
Hell no. There won't be a game that REQUIRES PS2.0 for a long time yet; if there was, it wouldn't be able to run on the entire GeforceFX line satisfactorily. No developer would cut off all those potential buyers (income).

Even if every game developer put PS3.0 in the upcoming games, there will still be a PS2.0 option as well for a long time to come. There's just too much older hardware out there. Hell, as of today, there is a total of ZERO ps3.0 cards in the consumers hands. There are thousands of PS2.0 compatible cards, and thousands upon thousands of ps1.0 compatible video cards out there.

The r420 will undoubtedly be a viable card for a couple years at least; the question is, if the r420 can whoop the 6800 in the raw speed department, is PS3.0 impressive enough AND utilized enough that the 6800 would be considered the better buy.

That remains to be seen.

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TheRod

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Cleeve I agree 120% with you!

It's why I say PS3.0, is not that important for now (and for casual gamers like me). Most games that will use it, will have "The Way it's meant to be played" logo on their BOX and by having this logo, this assure us that these games are PS1.1/1.4 compatible for the "GeForce FX way to be played". :smile:

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cleeve

Illustrious
You hit the nail on the head, Rod.

Although for casual gamers I don't think the NV40/r420 are a factor anyway; these cards will be the cream of the crop and expensive enough to be ignored by the casual gaming populace. R3xx and GeforceFX's will be around for some time to address the casual gamers.

It has more to do with who get's to be crowned king with the entheusiast community in this round. :smile:

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dhlucke

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You can't agree 120% with him. The max is 100%.

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There's one area of interest for PS3.0 right now and that's performance, as IQ differences will likely be very minor (if at all) initially. The thing is if the ATI has a performance edge running PS2.0 and 24bit that is not made up by the efficiencies of PS3.0, then the benifits may take time to realize. And if the dynamic branching benifits will never be realized for this generation of cards then we may see it having little impact.

However it's always nice to have additional features. The question is whether they will have an immediate enough impact to make a difference.

Still waiting for the FarCry screenies. That's when we'll have a better picture of the potential impact of having/not having PS3.0 as a feature. PErsonally I'd prefer to have than not, but my choice points are focused elsewhere.

Thankfully by the time it comes for me to decide most of this will be decided/exposed. Hopefully it will be for most people here too.


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coolsquirtle

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no its not! 120% is perfectly normal!!!

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dhlucke

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Be quiet and stop drinking my stash of beers! You are only to serve them, not drink them and say stupid things!

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<A HREF="http://www.gamers-depot.com/interviews/dx9b/001.htm" target="_new">http://www.gamers-depot.com/interviews/dx9b/001.htm</A>

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kinney

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That was a very good article, thank you much!

To sum it up for our viewers I'll put everything in laymans terms.

<b>1. PS3.0 offers great efficiency and will offer much higher performance than PS2.0

2. Effects will be easier to implement, and those same effects less stressing on the hardware through PS3.0

3. PS3.0 offers full precision (32bit floating point), while 2.0 does not (24bit). Anyone who has studied Nvidia's new pixel shaders will know that it has PLENTY of power to use this as well.

4. VS (vertex shader) 3.0 will bring exponentially greater image quality over VS2.0 and where we'll see the biggest IQ improvements. This feature finally brings us displacement mapping that DX9 originally promised.</b>

Simply put, <b>Shader Model 3.0 is a very big deal and will remain the standard until 2006 when Longhorn and DX10 is released.</b>
I should also note, that as I've stated in the past, Nvidia moving to 32FP with the NV30 was a wise move.
Now, the move to PS3.0 was much easier from an engineering standpoint and their 2 years of experience working with 32FP hardware will likely give them huge performance gains over the ATI PS/VS3.0 hardware whenever that gets here.

As my list of games shows, I expect a quick death to partial precision 24FP and PS2.0.
While VS3.0 will bring us <b>huge</b> IQ improvements.

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phial

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VS 3.0 is the biggy, and ive heard that the R420 *may* support it


i really have no idea, just saw it on some site. could have been bullcrap for all i know



but yea, the next few months shall be interesting.

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scottchen

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All the major sources has confirmed that the R420 even the XT version will NOT have PS3.0 support.

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kinney

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I doubt it will have either PS3.0 or VS3.0 support.
If it did, ATI would have "leaked"/let it been known soon after the NV40 launch.. because it did overturn the former state of the industry.

If they have any gunz.. I suspect we'd heard about it already.
The circa 70% performance improvement over the NV40 sounds absolutely ridiculous to me that I've read about over the web.
If the NV40 is baseline 50-100% faster than the 9800XT (<-no slouch for its day), then that means the R420 will be 120-175% faster than the 9800XT.

I dont think with a 12pipe card that is possible. Even if the X800Pro is 16pipes... seriously... thats absolutely off the scale and if it did happen I'd tattoo my face red and move to Canada to freeze my ass off with a bunch of French Canadians at ATI. :wink:

Even in "best case scenario", meaning a completely non-NV optimized situation with only FP24 being tested.. even then the claims are way way off the scale.

A friend told me the average ATI generational jump has been 20-30%..
I just dont see another 9700Pro happening again.
Heck, remember that this IS a highly tweaked R300 core when it comes down too it. Not enough poop in the pants from an engineering standpoint to handle the NV40.

Again, we'll see.. this is all my viewpoint and speculation.
Which usually doesnt turn out to be as bad as some would have you believe :wink:

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Seriously did you even read the article?

First it doesn't put forth the terms the way you did at all. These are assumptions YOU make about what was being said. Performance, really depends on what you're doing longer instructions could actually perfrom worse if the PS2.0 path does not require that many more passes to achieve the same effect. Could go either way. There are efficiencies to be had, but it depends on how it's implemented. Dynamic branching in particular could yield negative returns with the current generation.

Second your statement,<i>PS3.0 offers full precision (32bit floating point), while 2.0 does not (24bit).</i> is actually incorrect. PS2.0 DOES offer FP32, it's just not the MINIMUM standard, unlike PS3.0. Big difference, and it would be nice if you got it correct if you were trying to actually assist people with factual information.

Simply put, Shader Model 3.0 is a very big deal and will remain the standard until 2006 when Longhorn and DX10 is released.
It's not the stadard DX9.0C is, and since PS2.0 and below are all subsets within DX9.0C of course it will remain the standard, and that's really set by MS not anyone else. However it's not the minimum requirement yet by a wide margin, and DX9.0c is the only standard announced between now and DX10, but whether or not it will remain the only standard is anyone's guess, since there could always be a 9.0D or even a 9.1 should MS decide to do so. As for it being a requirement I think good quotes in regards to that would be the following;

Bart Kijanka: <font color=blue><i> Currently it appears the impact of 3.0 on developers will be minimal. Therefore it's unlikely the consumer will see significant benefits from 3.0 for quite some time, especially since the improvement of 3.0 over 2.0 isn't as great as 2.0 over 1.0.</i></font color=blue>

Mark Davis: <font color=green><i>Well as most developers will agree, commercially successful software has to tread a fine line between support of new high-end features, and satisfying the most common installed base. Once both major IHVs have their PS3.0 high-precision cards on the market, the very next generation of software will begin to take advantage of these features. What will really clinch it is the 'killer app' that requires PS3.0 in order to look its best. If Doom3 adds PS3.0 support then I'll bet that that's enough for gamers to want to buy into the new technology in big numbers.</i></font color=green>

Meaning it's great for future gaming, but likely not to be exposed in any meaningful way until future games like D]|[ arrive. And that's a bit of a way off too.
There's alot of talk of the possibilites, but whether or not that translates into actual performance is something else. The FX was feature rich and performance poor despite all of it's 'potential' benifits.

Nvidia moving to 32FP with the NV30 was a wise move.
Disagree completely, they allowed their competition to catch up and surpass them. Even if it helps them somewhat now, it would have been better to have a better performing gaming part, and to test the waters of unnecessary performance dragging features on their Quadro line, where obviously it had little impact versus the competition's offerings and they could afford the drop in performance at the expense of quality. They could have done all the R&D in the Quadros, but that would have cost a bit extra two have two distinct lines. Whether that expense would equal what they lost, or even the expense of the far from fully utilized/capitalized FX5700 series we'll never know.

As my list of games shows, I expect a quick death to partial precision 24FP and PS2.0.
Right, sure! Despite the fact that that same list supports cards that run the game using PS1.1 paths. PS2.0 and 24FP is far from dead. IT's definitely NOT the future, but once again you're having a wake long before birth or even conception in most cases. Once PS 2.0 is madatory then you could start realistically talking about it's imminent demise.

PS3.0/VS3.0 has alot to offer, and on the whole are great features, but supporting something doesn't means it's necessarily useful, just look at DX9 support for the FX5200 series, utterly useless bullet-point/checkbox feature. If the perfomrance is significantly lower than the competition and there is nothing to exploit these SM3.0 benifits before the next cards come out, then you will see little reason to sacrifice performance for nothing. If the efficiencies can't even make the feature rich card reach parity, then what will single pass savings matter for those who refresh their cards every product life cycle (or quicker)?

All of the speculation is interesting but it won't mean much until the cards actually show their strengths and weaknesses in all the games available (with all the features enabled). Whether or not the R42X has VS3.0 support is not as simple as the PS3.0 equation which relies on features that would've required far greater reworking to meet. We'll have to wait and see unfortunately. But realize that even support for PS2.Xa/b and VS2extended will add many of the efficiencies derived from full PS/VS3.0 support. The questions is what are the gaps. We won't know that until we have cards to benchmarks and benchmarks/games that show the differnces.

Now, your response to 120-175% performance boost over the XT;

I dont think with a 12pipe card that is possible. Even if the X800Pro is 16pipes... seriously... thats absolutely off the scale and if it did happen I'd tattoo my face red and move to Canada to freeze my ass off with a bunch of French Canadians at ATI.
Yeah I'm going to save that one, will be nice to see that, could add it to the album. Let's see, 150% to 200% the physical pipes, 10-20% core speed bump, much much faster memory, plus new texture compression. Could very well be you'll be needing your passport and some tetnus shots for that tatoo.

BTW, WTF is it with you and French Canadians, especially mistakenly thinking ATI has anything French Canadian about it? ATI is in Toronto, Matrox is in Quebec! Duh!


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kinney

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Dont be an ass just because you dont like what I say.

Second your statement,PS3.0 offers full precision (32bit floating point), while 2.0 does not (24bit). is actually incorrect. PS2.0 DOES offer FP32, it's just not the MINIMUM standard, unlike PS3.0. Big difference, and it would be nice if you got it correct if you were trying to actually assist people with factual information.

I should have been more specific, you are correct. But the defacto standard PS2.0 cards (R300 cores), at least to most in this forum.. do only have FP24.
Like I said. Dont be an ass and try to make it appear as if I'm misleading people you damn nitpicky lawyer.

The rest of your post reads like an angry fanboy.
I'm just here to post news and my views on the graphics industry, going to try that for a while and less fighting like your post seemed to have in mind.

You pulled those selective quotes out and what not.. but I think my points have more on their side than yours.
Like every always says, "we'll see"..
rofl

You save that comment of mine old Apey boy.
120-175% improvement over the 9800XT my ass.
It'll be a warm day in hell in Toronto before that happens.

About french people.. well, LOL. No comment, but I prefer my Canadians.. um.. NOT FRENCH. Like Xeon.

Lets just say, you can take the Frenchman out of France.. but you cant take the cheese-eating surrender monkey out of the Frenchman. :wink:

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Dont be an ass just because you dont like what I say.
Don't worry man I'll leave that job to you, you seem to have more practice at it, especially recently.

You pulled those selective quotes out and what not.. but I think my points have more on their side than yours.
You set the tone by selectively misquoting the entire article. My quotes expose the points you obviously missed.

There was little that said you would see immediate performance increases as you suggest, simply that there is more flexibility and more potential for shader replacement. It will heavily depend on it's implementation, like those quotes said. Had I wanted to be truely selective, there are far more helpful quotes to pull from that article, but I'm not going to waste my time matching your PR, I"m simply going to point out that you can't see the forest for the trees. Perhaps some occlusion culling or Z-compression would help.

You save that comment of mine old Apey boy.
120-175% improvement over the 9800XT my ass.
It'll be a warm day in hell in Toronto before that happens.
Oh I'll be keeping it. OF course you'll try and weasel out of it I'm sure. But I'd be surprised if we didn't see at least a doubling of results in many areas. Of course the task was easier for the GF6800 since doubling the FX5950 was no miracle feat as it didn't have far to go to do that, heck the R9800 series did that at times.

but you cant take the cheese-eating surrender monkey out of the Frenchman
Aahhh so little you know about Quebec or Quebecers. But I'll simply write that off as youthful ignorance.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:
 

kinney

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Chill out, you act like you cant stand someone who disagrees with you.

You are kind of haughty arent you? And people say I've got the big ego.
You may be a friendly, witty guy but gods gift to video cards you are not, my friend.
I'm trying to present more of the actual information for people instead of increasing the hostile environment that Hobbit spoke about.

Lets see a post where you bother to take the time to actually agree with me instead of constantly thinking of some witty or contradictory statement.
Less lawyer, more friendly.

You're right, I've had a few bouts lately but I'm not disturbed by it.. theres a few nobody morons with nothing to say.. and they are illiterate enough to portray what they have to say so horribly that I dont even have to respond to make them look bad.

I suppose you can join them if you wish, I dont care.

Anyway I wont be derailing this thread again. But thanks for getting it as personal as possible. :/

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Now he's a liberal.</font color=purple></b>
 
Wow 4 repeat posts, I guess you REALLY wanted to get that off your chest!

I'll be haughty you can be ignorant and arrogant (especially when it comes to cultures). That works for me.

Lets see a post where you bother to take the time to actually agree with me
Well for that you'd have to go to the pre GF6800PR era. You'd actually have to go to the era before you decided to be a 'forum warrior'.

I never pretend to be god's gift to anyone, but more and more you're seemingly trying to be God's curse on the Forum by spamming it beyond recognition.

As for chilling out, I would recommend the same to you. Because regardless of agreement on issues, anyone who doesn't see things the kinn-etic way is obviously a nobody moron who just can't see what is so obvious that you feel no need to provide any proof. Once you have 'actual information' then you may have something to discuss, otherwise it's simply PR without any merit or even basic insight.

Which is why I'm not surprised about your views on non-Americans.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:
 

kinney

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LOL, more smear.
My views on non-Americans? stfu. I rip on French people. I have IMMENSE respect for cultures that have similar values.. that just happens to be about half of Canada.. well I will just say I dont see eye to eye with them (and you).. and happen to agree with Canadians like Xeon. Is that a problem for you. Obviously it is, as you're lucky he didnt punch your pompous head in.
Nothing useful coming out of you at all here, and you've successfully brought me down to your level. I'm going back to talking about how SM3.0/DX9C might help out older Geforces. Something interesting.

Stay strong and bitter Ape. Enjoy your sinking ship.

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darko21

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Re: that just happens to be about half of Canada..

It's more like 25% and the majority of them can speak enough english to get by in an english speaking country.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
 
LOL! Ahhh whatever dude.

You simply prove your misunderstanding of other coutnries with ever attempt to justify your statements.

Now back to the crux of this thread....

My ship May be sinking but at least they're not cheating.

Deja-vu all over again?

<A HREF="http://www.driverheaven.net/articles/driverIQ/" target="_new">http://www.driverheaven.net/articles/driverIQ/</A>
<A HREF="http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=15502" target="_new">http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=15502</A>

Guess nVidia didn't think the PS3.0 performance was good enough to give them the upper hand so they returned to doing what they do best, floptimizations.

Interesting to note the statements about the look of SM2 vs SM3.

Guess it's looking more like what I said than what you said.

God's gift I may not be, but it sure is nice being right more often than wrong.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: